Ecovative Design pioneered a new technology to create a Styrofoam substitute using mushroom material. The material is produced in optimal growing conditions for mushrooms, where mycelium (the mushrooms) digests agricultural byproducts that cannot be used for food, making a strong, binding structure. Essentially, the mushroom materials acts like a glue.
Because it is made of agricultural and plant-based material, all of Ecovative’s products are fully compostable, doesn’t use oil resources, and has 10% of the carbon impact of Styrofoam. Some of the uses include packaging, vehicles (car seats, dashboards), insulation, building materials, and furniture.
Check out Ecovative founder Eben Bayer discuss the company’s mushroom innovation at TED Talks.